Gabriel Mario Rodrigues – Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABMES
“We are one of the most unequal countries in the world, with a gulf between rich and poor, and these extreme levels of inequality are incompatible with a democratic society.” (OXFAM Brasil)
A few weeks ago, in an article published on the ABMES blog, I commented on meritocracy in the selection process, and a reader spoke about what meritocracy I was referring to, whether the poor or the rich
The reader exemplified that in an athletics tournament, for any test, if you put an athlete who trains 4 hours a day, another once a week, another one every month, another once in a while and another one who has never trained is obvious that we will have unanimity, if we ask, about who will win the competition.
The point is that if we are to resolve the challenge of social inequality in the country, we can only do so by giving a consistent pre-university education to all young people. We have about nine million students in private schools and the others about 40 million in public schools that need support and solidarity, not only from the government, but from the whole society. In fact, Brazil has so many challenges, but the deepest is that of truly empowered human capital. We need to have brains, seriousness and creativity to be a nation of vanguard.
Wikipedia states: “Both the word merit and the word power have several meanings, which makes the term meritocracy polysemous [which may have several interpretations]. A meritocratic model is a principle or ideal of social organization that wants to promote individuals – in different social spaces: school, university, civil or military institutions, work, private initiative, public power, etc. And not of their social origin (class system), of their wealth (social reproduction) or of their individual relations (physiology, nepotism or co-optation), in terms of their merits (aptitude, work, effort, intelligence, virtue) “.
Meritocracy when it comes to the subject as a model of social justice in contemporary societies raises doubts and presents inaccuracies as in this very definition.
Leaving aside the concepts, we are one of the most unequal countries in the world, with a gulf between rich and poor, and these extreme levels of inequalities are incompatible with a democratic society.
This is what OXFAM Brasil says (The numbers of inequalities in Brazil):
• It would take 75 years to reach the level of UK income equality (according to figures observed since 1988)
• 19 years is the time it takes who receives a minimum wage to earn the equivalent of one month of income of the group of the richest 0.1% of the country
• Six Brazilians – all white men – have the same wealth as the poorest half of the population – more than 100 million people
• The richest 5% of the country receives, the same month as the other 95% together
• Spending R $ 1 million a day, the six largest Brazilian billionaires together would take 36 years to exhaust all their assets
The global economy, supported by transformations in communication and technology, will widen the gap between the rich and the poor, increasing wealth and income inequalities across the world, including the automation that will exist in most companies.
In his article last Saturday published in the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, CNBB Assembly: listening to the young, Cardinal Dom Odilo P. Scherer quotes Pope Francisco remembering the Synod of 2017 The young, the faith and the educational discernment of 2017, with the statement:
“Since the Church has chosen to take care of young people, she has made a very concrete choice and considers this mission a decisive pastoral ministry, which must invest time, energy and resources.”
In Brazil, no government cared for young people in order to be properly educated for life and to be the mainstay to promote the extinction of social inequality. Former senator Cristovam Buarque was the only politician who put education for all as a government goal and with effective proposals. But it always said that this strategy did not give votes because it took 30 years to happen.
He stresses that education for all embodies seven goals:
• Eradication of adult illiteracy
• Literacy of all children at the right age.
• Guarantee of completion of high school with equal quality for all
• Each young woman with the same chance in the race for a place in the most demanded courses
• Guarantee that those selected for the university will be able to complete their courses
• Trust that the graduates will be prepared for the exercise of their professions
• Possibility that they will be able to perfect the new knowledge and professions that will arise throughout their lives
We know that there are Brazilian organizations such as the Todos para Educação, the Lemann Foundation, the Natura Institute, the Ayrton Sena Institute, the Pitágoras Foundation, Itaú Cultural and hundreds, all working with the greatest success in addressing the deficiencies of public schools, in our view, be a national objective and a state program.
I believe that being concerned with solving this issue is an obligation of private educational institutions and could be a goal of the new Board of Directors of ABMES to analyze the feasibility of a project that unites the whole world, because we do not doubt that there are plans with the same objective.
We have no doubts about the challenges, because for 519 years, a project like this has not been consolidated, bringing together State, government, companies, professionals from all areas and religions, teachers, scientists, communicators, students, interested people, poor, Optimistic people.
Only Education can solve the challenge of transforming a country that believes that it can have proposals for a future where all young people can have the same competitive advantages to succeed in life. In this sense, in an interactive way, I would ask those who are giving me the privilege of having them as readers the kindness of contributions and suggestions so that we can return to this theme soon, enriching its content. Even because there is no way to find a solution without expanding debate and reflection.